VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Beach Public School district has a new educational equity policy.
The school board members voted in favor of the policy on September 9, and Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence is standing by it.
“I’m not going to be the person to tell you that your child shouldn’t be able to succeed," Spence said. "I’m going to give you everything you need to be successfu.”
According to the six-page policy, the division hopes to form an equity plan. To get there, the superintendent will start with an assessment, to identify inequitable practices and procedures that need to be changed.
Spence said that step will most likely take a half a year.
Dr. LaQuiche Parrott, the district's director of diversity, equity and inclusion said her team would look at data and talk to students, teachers and people in the community.
“The most important part of the equity assessment with me is really gaining the perspective and hearing the voices of our diverse stakeholders,” said Parrott.
The equity plan reports will include information on gaps in things like student achievement, enrollment in advanced courses, student discipline rates and graduation rates.
“Really the equity assessment is going for a deep dive,” Parrott explained.
Once collected, that information will be made public and given to school board members, with suggested division changes.
Virginia Beach parent, Allison Verbanic, said she supports the new equity policy.
“Definitely, I would hope that it would bring more change,” said Verbanic.
After receiving the report and suggestions, the superintendent can work on implementing the recommended changes.
Those will most likely spark training for school staffs on cultural awareness, spotting bias and avoiding inequitable practices.